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September 9, 2005

Catrin Nilsmark

Annika Sorenstam


Q. Welcome, Annika, welcome, Catrin. You are leading the United States by 2 points, 5 3; Annika, 2 points today, well done. Can you speak about how it was for you today?

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Sure. Well, it was a very, very exciting day. I think it was, you know, just looking at the scoreboard, there was a lot of ups and downs throughout the day, and I think I'm obviously very, very proud of our team.

I think we were just so persistent. We kept on grinding and grinding and grinding, and we never gave up, and I think that was the key, for us to forget about the front and play good on the back.

Obviously, I'm a little worn out now. It was a long day, and it was a lot of thinking and planning out there. I think overall we are very, very happy with the day. We stood there as a team together, and I think we all can sleep good tonight and get ready for a tough day tomorrow.

Q. Is that the start you hoped for, Catrin?

CATRIN NILSMARK: Definitely. Anytime you're up front against this team is a great day. I couldn't be happier, and like Annika said, I think it really was a fantastic team effort today. It showed the spirit.

Q. Open up for some questions.

Did your team have an advantage on the back side? Did you feel you did have an advantage because of some of those dog legs? You can cut off a lot of yardage?

CATRIN NILSMARK: Well, I don't know playing wise if it was a big advantage, but, you know, I always think when you're ahead like the American teams were, morning and afternoon, it's a good feeling to be the one that's chasing in a way, and knowing that it's hard finishing holes, and anything can happen on those last few holes.

And I think, like Annika said, we were just determined to even if we were going to lose a match, we were going to lose it by as few points as possible, so I think we were all set in our minds to fight until the very end.

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I agree with Catrin. I think, you know, just looking at the Front 9 and comparing it to the Back 9, the Back 9 is a lot harder, especially the green areas, and, you know, anything can happen there, and I don't necessarily think the distance or the driving distance plays a big role, but you just have to keep on fighting. That's what seemed like happened in our group. Suzann and I never gave up. We gave ourselves chances and in the end they rolled in.

Q. On 13, what was the club in the morning?


Q. Were you at all amazed about how quick that lipping turned around?

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: To be honest, yes. You know, obviously we were not in a good position. We had six holes to play, and we were 4 down, and we stood on the tee and I said, "You know, we can turn this around to be 1 up," and Catrin looked at me and said, "You can be 2 up." I said, "You're right, we have six holes left."

After that great shot of mine, I felt I hit a good shot, I felt good about that. After that, it seems like we took kind of the air out of the team. On the front 9 they were in charge, they were making birdies, and on the Back 9 it was the opposite. It seemed like they were hanging in there trying to survive the whole thing.

Q. Did you think you were taking air out of the team you were playing or the entire US team?

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I don't think the entire team, but for that match, I could tell, they were walking way behind us, and it just seemed like they were just trying to survive it. We were aggressive. We were going hard core.

CATRIN NILSMARK: By the way, Annika said she was going to hole that shot before she hit it, and he said if she doesn't hole it, she was going to end up like this (indicating).

Q. Catrin, can you talk about your pairings for tomorrow?

CATRIN NILSMARK: Yeah, I'm keeping a couple of groups the same. Obviously, it worked really well today, and they're playing well.

And I'm putting the French players out together. They are definitely a great foursome pair, I just didn't want to play them today, like I said yesterday, because of the pressure of the first day, so very happy to have them out in the morning tomorrow, and I think they're ready to go.

And that's about it.

Q. The rest are tried and tested?

CATRIN NILSMARK: Yes, definitely.

Q. Annika, Laura was in here saying how much she loves to play every single match, and that's what she's here for. Do you feel the same way? And, also, can you talk about how much you and Laura have meant to the European team now for a decade?

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I agree with Laura. I love to be a part of this. It's just a lot of fun. You can't compare this atmosphere to anything that we do throughout the year. I love playing majors, I love having a chance to win a tournament. Once you come here and play here, there is nothing like it.

Yes, I would love to play every match, and the last few years, I have, but you can't take that for granted because when you've got a good team, you have to make sure everyone gets a chance to play. This is a team effort.

By the end of the day, and the tournament, it's not who did what, but it's the whole team. I've got to prove to Catrin that I'm playing well, and maybe she will put me out in the afternoon again. We must support everyone as much as we can. I would love to cheer the team on. I'm an individualist when I'm playing, obviously, but I think I have a few team qualities when I'm here.

Q. Did she have to prove herself to you?


ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I was a little nervous after the front. I was thinking, I wonder if the pairings are up tomorrow. She might give me a chance to sleep in.

Q. Any comment on why you put Suzann out of the team in the morning?

CATRIN NILSMARK: Not really. Like Annika said, everyone has to play. She's playing fantastic, but I have quite a lot of good players right now to choose from. I have a good lovely problem that way.

So, not really a comment, she played great today, and she will be ready to go tomorrow afternoon.

Q. Any more?

Catrin, what are your thoughts on pairing the two French girls, just that they're comfortable together?

CATRIN NILSMARK: They know each other really well. They've played a lot of golf together. They know each other's games. Obviously, they are a little bit of underdogs, and I think they can go out and, you know, they have nothing to lose, they can thrive on that feeling, enjoy the atmosphere they got used to today, and, you know, they're very steady players, both of them, so I expect them to do really well tomorrow morning.

Q. Will you talk about them being underdogs? Do you think it will help them at all being up against two rookies? Did that pairing surprise you?

CATRIN NILSMARK: Maybe in a way that the rookies might feel that they have to win that match. You know, the more experienced players have I'm sure Meg talked about that, I know, earlier this week, you know, you can be fooled sometimes by players you don't know so well.

These players have obviously made it to the Solheim Cup team. They are really good players, and if there is anyone that might not know that, it could be the rookies.

Q. You can only speak for your own team, I realize, but what kind of an emotional lift that goes into tomorrow, the team that was behind in all but two matches, and grinded all day and wound up ahead, or a team that might have felt it let an opportunity slip by, and they're anxious to prove themselves?


Q. Did you understand it?

ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Yeah, for once.

Q. What do you think provides a bigger lift?

CATRIN NILSMARK: I agree, provides the bigger lift. I missed the first part. It is hard to say.

Q. After all that?

CATRIN NILSMARK: Yeah. I don't know. I think I really think both of them are experienced enough to feel that this day is over and done with, and we start from 0, at least I'm pretty sure that's how our team is going to feel, like this has never happened. It's 0 0 and we go again.

Q. Thank you so much.

End of FastScripts.

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